Indoor track preview: Mohawk’s Davis paces local pack

  • Mohawk senior Meghan Davis, shown here at last year’s PVIAC Championship, begins her final indoor track season Friday at Smith College in Northampton. FILE PHOTO

  • Greenfield's Tyssen LaBombard runs down the final stretch for a first place finish on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 at Highland Park in Greenfield. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Athol's Mason Barrieau, seen hurdling last spring, will be one of the top boys’ point-producers in the area this winter. file photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 12/4/2018 7:26:22 PM

The eyes of the local indoor track world turn to Smith College on Friday, as the PVIAC season kicks off with its opening meet in Northampton. The early session kicks things off at 3:45 p.m. and the evening session follows at 6:45.

There are plenty of new faces throughout the rosters for local teams, though there is plenty of talent returning. The area sent two competitors to the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championship a year ago, and had several others punch tickets to the All-State Championship.

Numbers appear to be up and down throughout the landscape. Greenfield High School boasts some 50-plus athletes between its boys and girls teams this winter, while Pioneer is also blessed with a strong turnout for the impending season.

The league season kicks off with Friday meets throughout December, January and into February. The WMass championship is set for Feb. 8 with state meets to follow Feb. 13.

Here’s a closer look at the five area teams and what to expect this winter:


Boys roster

Seniors: Connor Arpide, Noah Aukstikalnis, Mason Barrieau, Cullen Burbee, Carter Cochran, Joseph England, Zachary Fish, Colby Hume, Anthony Oro, William Roraback, Jared Rouleau, Dennis St. Jean; Juniors: Parker Deleo, Anthony Marcucci, Colby Soltysik; Sophomores: Timothy Casavecchia, Evan Dubrule, Cole Michaud, Jacob Smith, Ryan Young.

Girls roster

Seniors: Julia Carey, Shelby Mailloux, Analyse Merlini; Juniors: Grace Dufour; Sophomores: Rashelly Dalmau Gonzalez, Madison Duchnowski, Emily England, Lexi Forte, Madelyn Robertson; Freshmen: Kassidy Swan, Sadey Lehtomaki; Seventh-graders: Tori Hagelberg.

Outlook: The biggest change for the defending Valley League South Division champion Red Raiders comes with the departure of Kris Selanis to graduation. The talented thrower, who now attends Assumption College, was downright dominant a year ago, winning the All-State shot put title and finishing as the runner-up in the New England Championships with a top heave of 54 feet, 9½ inches.

While Selanis was the team’s backbone as a sure-scoring thrower, there is plenty to like with the return of senior Mason Barrieau. The team’s other All-State performer a year ago, Barrieau finished 14th there in the 600 meters and competed in both the 600 and 55-meter hurdles at the Div. 5 state meet. He’ll be a threat to score in a multitude of events, and he should be in the mix to win the 600 and 300 every time out of the gates.

Distance specialist Dennis St. Jean also returns after qualifying for the Div. 5 state meet last year in the 1,000 meters. He’s right on the cusp of a school record time in that discipline, and he’ll also likely run the 1-mile.

Others to watch on the boys side for Athol include throwers Colby Hume and Connor Arpide.

• The girls 4x400 relay team of Shelby Mailloux, Grace Dufour, Emily England and Crista Jillson finished 14th at last year’s Div. 5 state meet. Only Jillson graduated from that quartet, meaning the Red Raiders have a solid nucleus on which to build when the new season kicks off against Baystate Academy Friday.

Mailloux, a senior, is strong in the distance events and was a consistent top 10 finisher in the 1,000 meters a year ago. Dufour, a junior, was a factor in the distance events as well as jumps, while England, now a sophomore, was a consistent sprinter and jumper.

Freshman Sadey Lehtomaki could be the missing link to replace Jillson in the 4x400. She closed out her eighth-grade season a year ago with top 20 finishes in the regular-season finale in the 300 and 55 meters.

Others to watch for the small Athol roster include Lexi Forte, Kassidy Swan and Madelyn Robinson.


Boys roster

Seniors: Dylan Badillo, Aaron Do, Tyssen LaBombard, Elijah Stathis; Juniors: Kevin Chen, Jake Cote, Israel Gallardo, Crescens Iavorschi, Gabe Larouche, Dylan Roy, Alex Tirrell, Izaak Vigil-Sagan; Sophomores: Alex Bacigalupo, Daniel Provost, Emanuil Rahubenco; Freshmen: Erick Badillo, Andy Bostrom, Kris Bostrom, Nore Cruz, Keegan Doty-Smith, Trevor Gibb, Liviu Mihailicenco, Gianni Passiglia, Theodor Popusoi, Emanuel Rosca; Eighth-graders: Miles Ferreira, Trevor Kuchieski, Dragos Rosca, Alex Sinigur.

Girls roster

Seniors: Lexxie Rowell; Juniors: Mariam Brenes Obando, Kacia Kinsmith; Sophomores: Alexia Farrick, Johanna Guiod, Eva Heath, Victoria Marin, Shane Subeldia; Freshmen: Anayah Brewington, Phoebe Broussard, Sabrina Cote, Rory Cronen-Townsend, Kaylah Eggsware, Kaitlin Lavoine, Kandice Lu, Hannah Marchefka, Grace Mclain, Dennise Montijo, Caelyn Patenaude, Hannah Poirier, Genesee Roy, Kaydence Ryznic, Samantha Santos, Emmaline Thurston; Eighth-graders: Louisa Calame.

Outlook: Just one Greenfield runner qualified and competed in both the Div. 5 state meet and the All-State meet a year ago. That would be distance standout Amy O’Sullivan, who finished sixth in the 2-mile at the Div. 5 meet and closed out her indoor career at the All-State meet. O’Sullivan took her talents to Westfield State this year, where she was her conference Rookie of the Year during the cross country season.

With O’Sullivan gone, the Green Wave will need some different faces to step into the primary scoring roles this winter. Sophomore Victoria Marin should be one of the team’s top performers, as she was a big scorer during the outdoor track season. Junior Kacia Kinsmith, sophomores Eva Heath and Kaitlin Lavoine and senior Lexxie Rowell fared well during last year’s indoor season and should be competitive again, while eighth-grader Lulu Calame is fresh off a big cross country season and will look to translate that into the distance events on the indoor scene.

• The boys team has some strong distance runners in the likes of seniors Tyssen LaBombard and Dylan Badillo and junior Dylan Roy. Senior Aaron Do and freshman Emanuel Rosca are other familiar faces who will look to improve upon last year’s finishes, while freshman Theodor Popusoi is a top returning performer in the jumping events.


Boys roster

Seniors: Thomas Shortis (distance), Nate Sakowicz (sprints, jumps), Jacob Berry (throws), Miguel Arce (sprints, throws); Juniors: Kris Stroup (distance); Sophomores: Jake Murphy (sprints, throws), Camdyn Johnson (distance), Alex Currier (sprints, jumps); Freshmen: Liam O’Donnell (distance); Eighth-graders: Cameron Doyle (middle distance, sprints), Liam DiDonato (sprints), Camden Bashaw (sprints), Blake Adams (sprints); Seventh-graders: Alexander Dowler (distance), Ayden Ellis (distance), Jeffrey LaPlante (sprints), Caleb Rodriguez (sprints), Carson Sheridan (middle distance, sprints), Dominic Whitman (sprints).

Girls roster

Seniors: Anna Wetherbee (multiple), Chloe Taddeo (throws), Carissa Johnson (sprints), Elina Gordon-Halpern (throws), Katie Galvin (hurdles, jumps), Jordyn Berry (multiple); Juniors: Charlotte Torres (throws), Kamryn Reilly (sprints, jumps), Natalie Lyman (throws); Sophomores: Keanna Thompson (distance), Abby Tandy (hurdles), Shey Rodriguez (hurdles), Hailie Meeker (throws), Gracie Marsh (sprints), Brooke Jenks (distance), Aileen Fitzgerald (multiple), Quincey Drew (middle distance, sprints); Freshmen: Sophia Whitman (sprints), Emma Savoy (distance), Grace Rich (distance, jumps), Gracie Fournier (throws), Haley Donaghue (sprints), Caroline Chase (middle distance, sprints); Eighth-graders: Liliana Woodard (middle distance, sprints); Aliyah Santana (hurdles, sprints), Zenta Leimanis (middle distance, sprints), Astha Bernard (sprints, jumps); Seventh-graders: Julia Zani (sprints, jumps), Anaray Yang (sprints), Hailey Sousa (distance, jumps), Gabriella Lyman (sprints), Carra Fitzgerald (distance), Hazel Emery (distance), Audrey Danielson (sprints, jumps), Brynn Adams (sprints, jumps).

Outlook: It’s a tale of two teams for the Senators this winter.

The girls team is loaded, and head coach Sarah Woodward has some 35 members on her roster. Mahar has a talented senior class, with a returning Div. 5 state meet qualifier in Anna Wetherbee to set the tone. Wetherbee was fourth at the state meet in the long jump, and will be a factor in a variety of spots. Fellow seniors Jordyn Berry, Carissa Johnson and Chloe Taddeo make for quite a dynamic Class of 2019 that will like to give Mahar a run at the Valley South title.

Junior Kamryn Reilly also returns after finishing 21st in the long jump at the Div. 5 meet a year ago. Freshman Caroline Chase is another one to keep an eye on, though there are plenty of familiar names throughout the roster capable of scoring points.

The boys team underwent sweeping changes, as last year’s senior-laden team had a big season. But graduation hit the Senators hard, leaving just eight returning members on this year’s team.

Mahar lost the likes of Ash Shaw, Aaron Hendry, Aidan DiDonato, Hugo Frost, Jamie Teele, Seb Shaw and Nick Sharp to graduation — all key pieces who competed in the postseason.

It’s a young team this winter, with the likes of sophomore Alex Currier and freshman Liam O’Donnell two of the team’s top expected performers.

Mahar has 10 of its 19 members from grades 7 and 8 on the boys team.


Boys roster

Seniors: London Summers; Juniors: Aidan Duncan; Sophomores: Cullen Brown; Freshmen: Dennis Simmons; Eighth-graders: Jesse Dubreuil.

Girls roster

Seniors: Meghan Davis, Lily Wickland-Shearer; Sophomores: Kaitlyn Bisnette, Hailey Buchanan, Bailey Cousineau, Sage Spitzer, Ella Wilda; Freshmen: Serena Bardwell, Emily Silva, Caitlin Upton, Erica Szewczyk; Eighth-graders: Savannah Simmons, Lily Smithers, Madison Taylor; Seventh-graders: Sierra Upton.

Outlook: The WMass track world is running out of time to watch Meghan Davis.

The Mohawk senior begins her final indoor track season when the Warriors open their 2018-19 campaign against Hampden Charter Friday at Smith College.

Davis is the top returning athlete in the Recorder area this winter after she was one of just two locals to compete at New Englands a year ago. Davis finished fifth in the 2-mile there, capping an impressive winter that saw her win the event at the Div. 5 state meet and follow that up with a third-place showing at the All-State meet.

Davis is the lone returning Mohawk athlete who made the postseason journey a year ago, though the Warriors should be strong in the distance events with several cross country standouts on the squad. Freshman Erica Szewczyk was her team’s No. 2 runner behind Davis this fall, and she’ll look to factor into the scoring after a solid eighth-grade year. Classmate Caitlin Upton is another top option in the distance events.

Senior Lily Wickland-Shearer can score in a variety of events, as she was a threat a year ago in everything from the jumps, sprints and middle distances. Sophomores Sage Spitzer, Bailey Cousineau and Kaitlyn Bisnette all return with experience on the indoor scene.

• Seth Hoynoski headlined a graduating class on the boys side that also featured the likes of scoring threats in Luke Viens and Ben Warger.

Sophomore Cullen Brown returns after a nice winter on the track, where he challenged for top 10 spots in the 55-meter hurdles, 600 and 1,000 meters. Freshman Dennis Simmons has developed into one of the top distance runners in WMass in just a short span, and after he impressed during the cross country season, he should be a threat in multiple races.

Mohawk had just five boys members on the roster as of press time, with senior London Summers, junior Aidan Duncan and eighth-grader Jesse Dubreuil rounding out the quintet.


Boys roster

Seniors: Jake Comiskey (shot put), Gavin Curtis (600, relays), Jack Loud (mile, 1,000), Scott McDonough (55, long jump, relay), Gabe Norwood (600), Alex Taylor (55), Austin Walker (55, long jump, relay), Jake Wallace (55, long jump, high jump, relay); Juniors: Brian Bodenstein (distance), Gavin Johnson (300); Sophomores: Sam Cahill (sprints), Henry Curtis (distance), Noah de Ruiter (distance, long jump), Owen Deane (300, 600), Cam Dresser (shot put), Josh Glazier (distance), Daniel Kang (mile), Lucas Kelton (1,000), Manny Little (2-mile), Zephyr Monette (300), Brad Norwood (300, relay), Ben Taylor (mile, hurdles); Freshmen: Jason Daye (sprints), Jacob Walker (55, 300, long jump); Eighth-graders: Cooper Bullock (shot put), Nate Fuess (distance), Levi Moran (distance); Seventh-graders: Griffin de Ruiter (sprints).

Girls roster

Seniors: Avery Kelton (high jump, 55); Juniors: Jennie Fuller (shot put, 300), Jordin Hubbard (shot put, 600, relay), Shelby Kosterman (600, 1000), Ella Potee (shot put, relay), Sydney Unaitis (1000, long jump); Sophomores: Skylar Cohen (55, hurdles), Liesel Nygard (hurdles, long jump); Freshmen: Mya Cooke (shot put), Kassidy DiGeorge (55, 300, long jump), Caolinn Lounder (55), Jane Potee (55, 300, long jump), Alyson Unaitis (55, 300, long jump); Eighth-graders: Laila Heilman (long jump, mile), Maelin Manning (55, 300), Summer Walker (55, 300).

Outlook: Scott McDonough is finally a senior, and he returns for his final indoor season after being a mainstay in postseason meets the past few winters.

McDonough was 14th in the long jump at last year’s All-State meet, just after finishing as the Div. 5 state runner-up in the event the week before. He was the only Pioneer athlete to qualify for either postseason meet. Expect him to be in the running to win the long jump and 55-meter hurdles every Friday.

There are some talented seniors on the Panthers roster, with Jake Comiskey, Jake Loud and Gavin Curtis likely to be counted on heavily. Comiskey headlines a throwing unit that will have to replace an outstanding graduated trio in Adrian Wilson, Andrew Pratt and Alex Wahlstrom.

Junior Brian Bodenstein is a strong distance option, while sophomore Owen Deane showed well last year as a freshman in the sprints. 

• Avery Kelton is the lone senior on the girls roster, and she’s a top returning high jumper who hovered around the top 10 at meets a year ago.

Junior Sydney Unaitis was her team’s top finisher in the long jump and 1,000 meters last year and should once again be a top point-scorer. Classmate Ella Potee is another key returning piece to the puzzle, while freshman Alyson Unaitis and eighth-grader Laila Heilman are experienced indoor track athletes despite being young.

Sophomore Liesel Nygard had a solid outdoor track season last spring and is someone to watch in the hurdles and long jump.

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